Predators and Prey Design

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The Predator Prey model is a simulation classic. Large fish eat small fish. Small fish eat plants. If the large fish eat to many small fish then the small and large fish will die. What makes a stable system and what does stable really mean? Experience the surprising fragility of ecosystems as simple as this one.



  • Science: ecosystems, food webs


  • Open the simulation properties (if not already on the screen, in the Tools menu), run the simulation and observe the number of small and large fish over time.
  • Look at the behaviors of the large and small fish. Modify the reproduction rates and/or the threshold of dying to create stable ecosystems.
  • Export the simulation data to Excel (by right clicking on the plot the simulation generates as it's running and selecting "Export to Excel..."). In Excel, plot
    • the number of small/large fish versus time
    • the number of small fish versus large fish in a scatter plot. What does the chart reveal?

Lesson Plans